How Do I Disinherit Family Members in South Carolina?

In an ideal world, our Estate Plan would seamlessly transition our legacy to loved ones without a second thought about broken family ties. Unfortunately, relationships within families can be unpredictable, leading to changes in our wishes for who will acquire our hard-earned assets and legacy.

So, what does one do when circumstances change and they decide not to pass on assets to children or even a spouse in South Carolina? The process is actually much less challenging with children than it is with spouses, but it requires careful planning and clear communication in either circumstance.

Disinheriting Children in Your South Carolina Estate Plan

Disinheriting children in South Carolina primarily revolves around clear communication. It’s crucial to explicitly state within your Estate Plan that the estranged child should not receive anything from the Estate, thereby ensuring they have no legal claim to it.

Merely omitting their name from the Will might leave a window open for them to contest the Will, however, potentially claiming a portion of the Estate. So, to avoid any confusion, it’s important to not only make specific statements within your Will but also communicate your wishes to your attorney and other loved ones. This ensures that everyone understands your wishes, reducing the likelihood of the estranged child successfully claiming assets from the Estate after your death.

Disinheriting a Spouse in Your South Carolina Estate Plan

The task of disinheriting a spouse in South Carolina comes with additional challenges. Due to the Spousal Elective Share statute, a surviving spouse can claim at least one-third of the Estate’s value, even if they are not mentioned in the Will or other planning documents. This legal provision aims to prevent the surviving spouse from becoming a public charge and needing state financial support.

Couples can, however, work around this statute through mutual agreement. If both parties agree with the decision that the surviving spouse will not claim their elective share and this is legally documented, then the elective share is able to be surpassed and the surviving spouse may be left out of the Estate. This agreement is critical in ensuring that the Estate is distributed according to the deceased’s wishes without legal complications from the surviving spouse after your death.

Make Tough Decisions Easier With Charleston Estate Planning Law FirmEstate Planning often involves making difficult decisions that affect both you and your loved ones. We recognize that family dynamics are often complex, with unforeseen events leading to estrangement. Our goal at Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm is to guide you through these challenging decisions to protect your legacy and the well-being of those you care about. Contact our firm for support in navigating through these sensitive decisions in your Estate Plan.

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Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm

At the Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we believe that estate planning is all about protecting your family and loved ones in the event of your incapacity or death.

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